ABS Helps Ensure Readiness of US Hospital Ships

March 30, 2020

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua D. Sheppard/Released
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua D. Sheppard/Released

ABS made a key contribution to the nation’s COVID-19 response effort, helping ensure the readiness of two ABS-classed U.S. Navy hospital ships.

ABS surveyors on the U.S. East and West coast helped the USNS Mercy and the USNS Comfort sail to provide urgently needed hospital beds in New York and Los Angeles.

USNS Mercy was in her home port in San Diego making preparations for a large shipyard repair package scheduled to begin in April. Her activation was advanced to support California’s request for the vessel to berth in Los Angeles. Round-the-clock survey preparation enabled an ABS team to substantially progress the required surveys while the crew prepared for deployment.

The USNS Comfort had been docked in Norfolk, Va. since December 2019 to conduct its pier-side Mid-Term Availability. The ABS team worked with Military Sealift Command to prioritize critical maintenance and complete the availability, allowing the vessel to arrive in New York City in early April. The ABS team was able to complete its surveys during the reactivation efforts and ensure the ship was ready to deploy.

“These are incredible examples of our ABS team on the front lines and in action, directly helping to make a difference in the fight against COVID-19. While many are working remotely to keep the business going, during this difficult time our surveyors are out on vessels, carrying out their work in support of our clients and the industry,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort both have the capacity to carry one thousand beds, with the ability to treat up to 80 intensive care patients at any given time. They also have 12 fully fitted operating theaters to treat the most severe trauma cases. Both vessels will help treat non-COVID-19 patients aboard the ship, freeing up hospitals to focus on COVID-19 cases.

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